The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
Posted by Michelle Pence - - 1 comments
Starting a new internship can be scary on it's own, but starting a new internship and receiving hardly any guidance is a nightmare!  Believe it or not, I've been faced with the dilemma of having to teach myself the ropes a couple of times.  Whether certain employers feel that their interns are self-sufficient enough to figure things out on their own, or just don't have the time to lay out the welcome mat, the fact is that as an intern you need to possess certain survival skills just in case you end up having to fend for yourself.

Pay attention

A good habit in any situation is to get a feel for the office environment as soon as possible.  With a little observation you should be able to tell how employees communicate with each other, what the relationship is like between employees and the boss, how casual the setting is, etc.  Being attentive should help you fit right in.  If you're tucked away in a cubicle where it's a little more difficult to view the interactions, use your initial conversations with the staff to make some strategic observations, or simply ask what you should expect.

Realize when you're being tested

More than once I have had an employer who seemed to like to "test" new interns, trying to determine how much they can handle.  If you are given a pile of paper the size of Mt. Everest to file or are delegated some other impossible task before you've even warmed your new seat, don't freak out.  Realize that it might be a test to see how you react in a stressful situation.  Overcome the situation by staying calm and working through it.  Becoming stressed or anxious will just cloud your mind and impair your judgment.  If you're still being given unmanageable things to do about a month after you start, then you are allowed to freak out.

Ask questions to the right people
Asking questions to clarify a task you've been given is never a bad thing.  It's better to be safe and ask rather than to be sorry if you mess something up.  At every internship I've had, I was able to find at least one person who ended up being my go-to person for questions.  This person was always glad to help and understood that it's tough being new to a company and expected to do a lot of different things right off the bat.  Granted, I always found this person through an interesting process of trial-and-error.  Try asking several questions to numerous people in the office, and it will become obvious who gets disgruntled or doesn't seem to want to be bothered.  Think through your questions before you ask them to make sure that you're not wasting someone else's time on something you could have figured out on your own.

Become friends with the old intern... STAT!

The person who will be able to give you the most invaluable advice in the whole company will be... you guessed it- the old intern/interns.  Not only do they know exactly what you will be dealing with, but they will most likely be happy to fill you in on the details.  If you aren't given the opportunity to transition with them, ask someone for their contact information and shoot them a quick call or email to introduce yourself.  Get their permission to contact them is something comes up you think they might be able to help with, and then utilize them.

Please share if you have had an internship where you had to figure things out for yourself.  How did you manage?  Did you still enjoy your internship?

One Response so far.

  1. How to Make Pemmican The Ultimate Survival Food

    Invented by the natives of North America.

    Pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.

    These people spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.

    Click HERE to Learn How to Make Pemmican The Ultimate Survival Food !

    People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at

    How folks 150 years ago did it!

    These guys were the last generation to practice basic things-for a living-that we call survival skills now.

    Survival Things Our Great Grandfathers Did Or Built Around The House!

Leave a Reply

Category List

application (1) apps (1) ashli pollard (1) ask the good intern (1) back to school (2) boredom (1) boss (1) budget (1) business attire (1) business casual (1) CAMPUSPEAK (1) career (3) career advice (1) career center (3) classes (1) college (6) college grads (1) conflict (1) cover letter (3) coworkers (2) do's and don'ts (1) down time (1) dream internship (4) election (1) employer (1) end of internship (1) entrepreneur (1) etiquette (2) evaluation (1) extra opportunities (1) facebook (2) fall (1) fall fashion (1) fall internship (4) fall internships (1) fashion (1) fashion internship (1) finance (1) first day of internship (4) first impression (2) foursquare (1) fraternity (1) full-time job (1) goals (1) google (1) gossip (1) graduation (1) her campus (2) hobbies (1) holiday party (1) holidays (1) hot jobs (1) humanitarian internship (1) independence (1) initiative (1) intern style (1) intern supervisor (1) internship interview (2) internship wrap-up (1) interview (2) job (1) job interview (2) job search (1) law school (1) leadership (1) legislative internship (1) letter of recommendation (5) linkedin (3) links (5) majors (1) mental health (1) mentor (1) missouri state university (1) money (1) multi-task (1) networking (9) new internship (1) new year (1) non-profit (1) non-verbal communication (2) office fashion (1) office party (1) organization (1) organizational products (2) oversees internship (1) paid internships (1) passion (1) pete mockaitis (1) phone (1) phone etiquette (1) political internship (1) portfolio (1) positive attitude (1) post-grad internships (1) privacy (1) productivity (1) professional attire (1) promotion (1) recent grad (1) research (1) resume (7) salary (1) schedule (4) scholarships (1) social media (2) social networking (3) social skills (1) sorority (1) speaker (1) start-up (1) stress (3) study tips (1) summer internship (5) thank you note (2) thank you notes (2) time management (3) timeline (1) to-do list (2) to-do lists (1) twitter (1) undecided major (1) unpaid internships (1) upperclassmen (1) Washington D.C. (2) websites (1) work-life balance (1) wrapping up an internship (1) wrapping up internship (1) writing sample (1)